Skip to content →

Take Notes on Your Poker Opponent

Note-taking is not just a skill you need to become a successful student at colleges and universities. Did you know that this skill can also work for you if you decide to hit the poker circuit?

note9Yes, you can count on your note-taking skills when you decide to observe or even play in a poker tournament. Understanding the play and hands of other players are requirements for poker players who want to win, and win big in poker tournaments. These players do not get the bulk of their winnings just because of their skills; most of the best poker players win big because they pay attention to the mistakes and missteps made by the other players.

This is the reason why you also need to pay attention to what is happening around you when playing poker, and invest in poker notes. If you want to be successful in poker tournaments and games, then you need to discover an effective note taking method, and practice this as much as possible.

Be Specific

Specifics are critical when it comes to taking notes in poker games. By becoming specific in your notes, you can easily remember the hands raised by the other players, and from what position they came up in. This can help you track the raises, and check out any trends or variations.

One thing that you can gain from other players’ mistakes is to know when they are likely to raise using stronger hands, and what they do with their weak hands.

Profile the Other Poker Players

note4If you are a member of one or two popular poker websites, then you will discover that these sites provide players a chance to assume an avatar which shows their VIP statuses. For example, at PokerStars you will discover that the tier levels of players are shown, and based on player experiences, those with a Bronze tier are known to play poorly. But player profiles that show 3 to 6 stars or shows off an Iron Man Chip (in Full Tilt Poker) are known for their aggressive and more skilled play.

Just remember that these are just generalizations, and just a guide, not necessarily the rule.

Simplify Your Notes

Poker notes should be simple and short so you can compress as much information as possible. You can be creative in your poker notes by adopting shorthand, or by using abbreviations. Three of the most common and popular abbreviations are BB (for Big Blind), SB (for Small Blind) and B or BU (for Button). Here are a few more shorthand or abbreviations that you can use in your next poker notes:

  • UTG – Refers to ‘under the gun’. You can put more details on the notes, like ‘UGH 6H’, if they are playing on a six handed poker table
  • B-3- Indicates distance from button
  • B-1- Refers to a cut-off from the button

Just like the academic note taking experience, note taking in a poker game is personal. You can count on a strategy that truly works for you, but make sure you reduce the amount of ‘noises’, or unwanted information.